Confidentiality for service users

Have confidence

We don’t know who you are or where you are – unless you tell us.  And what you say is between you and the Missing People  charity.

Trust us

We’d like you to trust us enough to talk to us. It can be hard to look for support from someone you don’t know and describe what’s going on for you and how you’re feeling about things. You are free to tell us what you want. We will listen and support you so that you can make the right choices for you. We won’t judge you.

We believe that you have a right to anonymity.  This means you don’t have to give us your name when you contact us, or tell us where you are or where you live.  If you do tell us your details, we will keep your contact with us confidential – only you and Missing People will know about it. If you ask us to take action for you like calling someone or passing a message, we will ask you for some real details about you so that we can do that – usually your name, date of birth and contact details.  If you do identify yourself then we may keep a record on our database so that we can see how you were helped last time.   Your consent for us to keep a record is discussed further in our Privacy section below.

Our duty of confidentiality applies to calls, emails texts and  web chat, and these systems don’t tell us where you are.  Your phone bill won’t show that you called us, although you would need to delete our 116 000 number from your phone call history or messages if you were worried someone might look at your phone to see who you have called.

If we do know who you are – because you’ve told us – and we think you or someone else is at risk of significant harm – for example, if you tell us that you might kill yourself or we know you are in danger – then we would have to consider telling emergency services so they could help you to be safe.  We will always try to talk to you about why we want to do this because you have a right to know if we are thinking about taking any action which will affect you.

We take our duty of confidentiality very seriously and we would only pass on information when we consider you or someone else to be at risk of significant harm, and the law allows us to do so.  For example, if the police request us to share information then we consider the situation very carefully before agreeing or disagreeing to share.  We might have to make a special request to our communications providers to find out about where you are.   (A list of circumstances when we might have to share your data with others is provided in the Privacy section below.)

For the purposes of training and monitoring of service quality, phone calls to our services may be listened to by additional members of staff or volunteers. All of the charity’s staff and volunteers are bound to adhere to our confidentiality policy.

If you have any concerns or questions about  confidentiality, just ask us at the beginning of your contact with us.

If you have any questions about our confidentiality policy, you can ask a member of our helpline team by calling or texting 116 000, or by emailing: 116000@missingpeople.org.uk.